I can see clearly now, the rain is gone…
I can see all obstacles in my way…
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind…
It's gonna be a bright, bright, sun-shiny day
Visionary words written and recorded by Johnny Nash in 1972 and covered by many artists throughout the years.
I recently visited a client who wasn’t seeing things quite so clearly. As a business owner, he was heavily dependent on his finance team and book-keeping staff for information and they were using outdated expensive accounting software. Much of the data the business relied on was entered manually and many records were still in paper form, sitting in filing cabinets. Our client was spending too much of his own time trying to understand the numbers and by the time he got them, they were out of date. Poor decision making based on unreliable and out of date information and cash flow pressure were dark clouds hanging over his head. Johnny Nash’s lyrics sprung to mind when I was thinking about how we could help him by taking away all the obstacles and dark clouds that were facing him – sun-shiny days seemed a long way away for him!
The objective for our client was clear – paperless, real time, information, managed efficiently.
I explained that through using cloud software technology, we could help him see clearly what was going on in his business and save him the time he badly needed to concentrate on growing the business. By providing him with the latest cloud software technology that could automate much of the labour intensive finance processes his business currently suffered from, this allowed him to see in real time the information he required:
- how his business, jobs and staff were performing
- who owed him money, who was overdue
- who he owed money to and when
- live customer leads and customer quotes outstanding
- purchase orders for goods and services raised awaiting his approval
- employee expense claims waiting his approval for payment
- how much cash he had available and the ability to manage that cash
- who his key customers and suppliers were
The technology also allowed him to collaborate with his customers, suppliers and employees so that he was able to operate his business without the need for paper.
As the data was able to be accessed by multiple users from anywhere and the business was now operating without the need for paper, a partially outsourced collaborative bookkeeping service became much more achievable and attractive for our client saving both people and software costs without the need for any upfront investment.
Suddenly, Johnny Nash singing about bright, sun-shiny days didn’t seem like such a utopian view of the world for our client.